Hyundai scoops up more ex-BMW M talent to help build fast cars

Maybe Hyundai figured that Albert Biermann needed some company, so it hired ex-BMW M USA head Thomas Schemera to run its performance and motorsport division.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read

is pulling no punches when it comes to building its performance credentials. First, it lured Albert Biermann away from and turned him loose on the i30 and Veloster; now it hired another ex-M alumnus, Thomas Schemera, to run its high-performance vehicle and motorsport division.

It's always an exciting thing when a brand, particularly one known mostly for sensible, value-driven vehicles, starts to get serious about building performance cars. The truth is that Hyundai makes really good cars these days and its investment in talent when it comes to performance should bear some sweet, sweet fruit indeed.

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Behold, the new face of South Korean automotive performance.


"I am thrilled to join Hyundai Motor, which is presenting incredible prowess in its high-performance technologies through models like the i30 N, despite being relatively new to this competitive scene," Schemera said. "I will dedicate my expertise and knowledge obtained over my three-decade career to making a significant contribution to Hyundai's development in this field and to provide pure driving pleasure to our customers."

Schemera was most recently the head of BMW M and BMW Individual for North America and has been with BMW since 1987 when he started as a designer. At Hyundai, he'll be in charge of the High-Performance Vehicle & Motorsport Division, where he will head up strategy, product planning, sales and marketing for high-performance vehicle operations.

Veloster N brings Hyundai's performance brand to the US

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"Thomas Schemera is one of the most renowned experts in the high-performance vehicle business with experience in all of the world's major markets," said Biermann, president and head of performance development and high-performance vehicle development at Hyundai Motor Group. "I am excited he is joining us, and I'm confident that his participation will help put Hyundai's high-performance vehicle business onto the fast track."

It will be fascinating to see where the N sub-brand goes in the coming years and how it matures, particularly if Hyundai continues to be so aggressive with its talent acquisition. We were pretty blown away by the Veloster N reveal at the Detroit Auto Show and can't wait to get behind the wheel of one.